Star Citizen, 2020 will see the start of a deeper economy for the Persistent Universe and I wanted to talk about what’s planned for the economy, related features and gameplay that we may get over the coming year.
The current economy in game is very static and there are progression resets. Platform Persistence is coming at some point in a 3.8.x patch so before the end of the Q1 2020. This will be the start of aUEC and Purchases in game not getting reset every patch, though some resets may occur still. Full Persistence is also apparently planned later in 2020 allowing for object location data, reputation, character data and more to also be saved between patches and hopefully VERY FEW future resets after that.
For Alpha 3.9 there is quite a bit that’s planned let’s start with one of the most important things the New mobiGlas Accounting App – this will display a variety of information about a player’s active financial commitments, including recurring rentals, insurance, organization membership fees and the associated benefits, etc. It also allows for such commitments to be extended or cancelled. The hope is at this stage the App will also allow for wallet to wallet transactions, basically the ability to send aUEC to another player, without having to misuse the Service Beacon System. This is SOOOO important to Star Citizen’s PU even at this stage making payments and transaction between players much more simple.
Another big economy change we know about is Commodity Transfer Timers – conditional timers to automatic loading and unloading of cargo – moving cargo will require time to complete, with the duration dependent upon the location, the current level of demand for such services, whether an additional fee to expedite the process has been paid, and the quantity of material being transferred. Ships will be unavailable until such processes have completed. This will change the way that Cargo running is done, value of resources, where players trade… and potentially will lead to some more gameplay during this “downtime”.
One of the ways you might want to spend this time is looking at the Economy Display Terminals these are billboards that allow for the real-time display of economic information including commodity prices, available missions and payments, retail sale events, area threat levels, universe data and opportunities for you to make money, these will be important as they want the economy to be dynamic and danger zones to evolve so you’ll have to balance the risk and reward of a trade route and that will change over time.
Directly tied into the economy is the Dynamic Mission System – allowing missions featuring specific locations, rewards, and other parameters to be dynamically dictated based upon guidance from the back-end simulation and player actions, which in turn enables a more systemic universe AND the real-time customization of mission content based upon the economy. This will include the ability to vary where missions are offered, in what quantity, and the payment. It will also allow mission templates to be injected with environmental information at run-time, enabling the creation of content that’s both more diverse and that more accurately represents the simulated universe at that moment in time.
General Missions are becoming Multipart and with multiple sub objectives which you’ll be able to complete too eventually these will have a huge amount of variance and modularity.
Events you get during traversal will also be affected by the economy, pirates will interdict on trade routes that are “hot”, conversely security forces will protect these routes too, you’ll see distress signals and other events as you just move around.
This all combined is some of the first steps to the dynamic universe that CIG want for Star Citizen.
Other major expansions of this gameplay are the addition of microTech landing zone New Babbage, the planet being hooked up to missions, new mission givers… but also later in the Year Crusader it’s Floating Cloud City Orison, Jump Points and a New Star System Pyro which will be very lawless and pirate heavy these new locations allow the mission system to expand and provide new trade routes and hot spots of activity.
With the updates to the Player Status System, heat, food and drink will all be taken into account, environmental gear will be required and sold around the verse and food and drink will be some form of commodity but also consumable.
I do think consumables like medipens, food, drink & eventually ammo will be very very valuable in the games future outside of core / safe lawful zones anyway.
There are more stations automated and unoccupied that are helping build out the universe as well, I think the larger Cargo Stations are also planned for 2020 as well.
Even Prison Gameplay adds a new type of currency Merits, which are earn at the Klesher Automated Prison, overtime, by trading them or from mining.
We know that Mining is evolving from patch to patch with updates to various aspects of it’s mechanics. They are going to be adding consumable items for ships too BUT Salvage and some of the other major gameplay loops are going to be major additions to gameplay and the economy. Salvage slipped off the Roadmap at the end of 2019 and we are awaiting to see where it see where it lands when they update it BUT it’s expected in 2020… Plz CIG why you hate Salvage? Any other Gameplay loops that CIG add in 2020 are welcome as well and will obviously help expand out the economy.
Even Ship to Station Docking (planned for 4.0) is important here as it allows large ships to dock with stations in orbit to buy, sell as well as rearm, refuel and repair. Something that the 890 or Relaimer would of previously had to go planetside for… not ideal.
This is essential for large scale ships and haulers to function in the game, we know that the Hull C was scheduled for completion at the end of 2019 for Squadron 42’s needs BUT that Gigantic Hauler could make it into the game in 2020 IF ship to station docking is complete and they solve the issues with animated physics grids basically the spindles of the ship being able to retract.
As the Law System and Criminal vs Lawful Gameplay expands through 2020 we should see an economy and money making opportunities for both sides, bounty hunting especially but also smuggling… CIG are working on extended Cargo mechanics as well so moving boxes bay hand between ships, this allows for piracy BUT we have previously heard CIG talk about potentially selling stolen ships to in the future at places like the scrapyards.
For me what I am hoping for in 2020 is Locational Data which you can save and share. This would allow you to save a part of the asteroid belt in the Aarron Halo or a cave system or other location that you could exploit for mining OR as a safer or quicker QT point for trade.
Another thing that CIG want for the economy in the not too distant future is the Use of Resources in Manufacturing / Shop Stock & Mission Generation so resources dynamically deplete based on needs.
Physical Inventory may will affect the economy pretty heavily too, they were talking about having items be able to be delivered straight to your hab or ship… This could well be the start of when we get rentalable storage space potentially for your cargo.
Admittedly not all of that may come in 2020 but hopefully it will in it’s first iterations at least.
There was a huge amount that Tony Zurvoich talked about at CitizenCon with his Simulating the Universe Presentation and they are pushing to get Star Citizen with Permanent Progression, a Dynamic Economy and many more features for the PU as soon as possible though it’s very much a step by step process A LOT of that starts with 3.9 for the end of Q1 2020 assuming that CIG don’t gut those features from the patch during any rescheduling in Jan, we should know a bit more in the next couple of weeks.